Requirements for Master's Theses

The Master’s Thesis can be submitted in two different formats.

  • as a collective written work called a monograph
  • as an article-based master's thesis comprised of an extended summary and an article manuscript

The choice of thesis format is determined in collaboration with your assigned supervisor.

Title page

Use the template for title page created by the University of Oslo Library

The title page must contain

  • Title of the thesis
  • Name of author(s) (Not your candidate number)
  • Master's Thesis in Special Needs Education
  • Number of credits 
  • Department of Special Needs Education, Faculty of Educational Science, University of Oslo 
  • Year and semester (e.g. Spring 2020)

Formatting

  • Line spacing must be one and a half (1,5)
  • Text size must be 11 or 12 Times New Roman
  • Page number must be placed at the bottom of the page

The article manuscript of an article-based Master’s Thesis follows the journal’s author manual

Detailed requirements for the two different formats follow below.

Requirements for Monograph-based Master's Theses

Scope of the thesis

  • Monograph-based theses using quantitative methodology: 12 000 - 23 000 words.
  • Monograph-based theses using qualitative methodology: 17 000 - 28 000 words

This applies to the actual text of the thesis itself.

The abstract, preface, list of contents, sources and any attachments comes in addition. 

Co-authorship

When two students write a thesis together, the preface should clearly state which student takes main responsible for what chapter. This allows individual assessment of the authors. Alternatively, the students can explicitly state that the whole thesis is a common product reflecting cooperation on all levels, in which case they will receive the same grade. 

The same word limits apply for two students writing a monograph-based thesis together. 

Structure of the thesis 

Monograph-based Master's theses shall follow the below structure: 

1. Abstract

All master’s theses shall include an abstract that is a maximum of two pages. The abstract must provide information about the thesis statement or question, method and material, results and conclusion(s).

2. Preface

After the abstract follows a brief preface. It is good scholarly practice to thank persons who have contributed positively to the implementation of your master’s thesis.

3. Table of contents

The number of words of the thesis has to be reported at the end of the table of content.

4. Overview of tables and figures  (if any)

5. The thesis itself

Each chapter in the thesis should be started on a new page, numbered and given a separate chapter heading.

6. The reference list

The reference list shall be written according to rules set out by the American Psychological Association (APA). All references cited in the thesis text must appear in the reference list.

7. The attachments 

The attachments vary according to the type of master thesis and could include any relevant ethical approvals, information letters, interview guide or newly developed material used for data collection. For example, a WISC-protocol does not need to be attached as this can be covered by referring to the WISC-protocol in the reference list, whereas a self-developed observation form should be attached as this is new information not covered by existing literature. Further, it is not usual to attach all data transcripts or raw data. However, it can be relevant to attach examples of the use of transcription guidelines or supplementary tables providing data that is discussed in the thesis, or empirical examples that demonstrate how coding has been carried out. 

Requirements for Article-based Master's Theses

An article-based Master’s Thesis shall consist of two parts: An extended summary and an article manuscript.

Extended summary

The extended summary constitutes a framework for the article and is used to contextualize and explain choices that were made in the writing of the article. It is recommended to include an introductory chapter that explains to readers how the article and the extended summary complement each other, as well as justifying the choice of the intended journal for the article.

The extended summary shall emphasize the theoretical and methodological aspects of the master’s study for which there is not enough room to present or discuss in the article manuscript. The summary may e.g. contain a more extensive discussion of theory and schools of thought than is commonly permitted in the peer-review article format, and/or a discussion of the methodological tradition in which the article is situated. Results and their implications may similarly be discussed with more historical background and context than the article format allows for. 

The extended summary shall have a separate reference list.

Scope of the extended summary

The extended summary must be between 5 000 and 10 000 words.

If two students write an article-based Master's Thesis together the length must be increased by an additional 5000 words.

Article manuscript

You choose an academically and thematically relevant peer-reviewed research journal, Norwegian or international, from the list of authorized publishing channels, and compile the article manuscript in accordance with the authorship guidelines of the chosen journal. The authorship guidelines include, for example, length of abstract and manuscript, reference style and structure of the article.

You have to write the article manuscript by yourself as an independent work without any other co-authors. Supervision for the article manuscript follows the same general rules for supervision as for a monograph or the extended summary.

Scope of the article manuscript

The size of the article will vary according to the standards in the relevant journals. However, most journals require an article length between 4 000 and 12 000 words.

Assessment weighting

Regarding thesis assessment, the extended summary constitutes 40% and the article constitutes 60% of the total grade. However, both parts must achieve a minimum of E in order for the student to get a passing grade.

Co-authorship

The master’s thesis is an independent, scholarly piece of work, and only the master’s degree student(s) shall be the author of the article manuscript. When two students write a thesis together, the preface should clearly state who is mainly responsible for each chapter. This allows individual assessment of the authors. Alternatively, the students can explicitly state that the whole thesis is a common product reflecting cooperation on all levels, in which case they will receive the same grade. Each individual who has written a master’s thesis with another student must deliver it separately in Studentweb and Inspera

Publication of the article manuscript

After the assessment of the master's thesis has taken place, you and your supervisors can consider whether the article manuscript of the thesis may merit further editing regarding submission to the selected journal. The supervisor's co-authorship shall then be discussed, but it is not given that the supervisor shall be a co-author (cf. Vancouver Recommendations).

If you wholly or partially base your article on data made available by your supervisor’s research project, you are usually not allowed to be the sole author regarding any publication of the article.

Structure of the thesis 

Article-based Master's theses shall follow the below structure: 

1. Abstract

All master’s theses shall include an abstract that is a maximum of two pages. Abstracts in article-based theses must provide information about the thesis statement/question, method and material, results and conclusion(s), as well as title of the article and the chosen journal.

2. Preface

A brief preface should then follow. It is good scholarly practice to thank persons others who have contributed positively to the implementation of your master’s thesis.

3. Table of content

The number of words of the thesis and the article have to be reported at the end of the list of content, separately

4. List of figures and tables (if any)

5. The extended summary text

Each chapter in the extended summary should be started on a new page, numbered and given a separate chapter heading. Individual chapters are to be divided into sub-chapters (paragraphs) with separate headings

6. Reference list for the extended summary

The reference list for the extended summary shall be written according to rules set out by the American Psychological Association (APA) .

All references cited in the thesis text must appear in the reference list. As a student, you are under the obligation to familiarize yourself with the current rules regarding the use of sources and citation rules in relation to writing papers.

7. Attachments to the extended summary (if any)

Attachments vary according to the type of master thesis and could include any relevant ethical approvals, information letters, interview guide or newly developed material used for data collection. For example, a WISC-protocol does not need to be attached as this can be covered by referring to the WISC-protocol in the reference list, whereas a self-developed observation form should be attached as this is new information not covered by existing literature. Further, it is not usual to attach all data transcripts or raw data. However, it can be relevant to attach examples of the use of transcription guidelines or supplementary tables providing data that is discuss in the thesis. For article-based theses, it is obligatory to attach the authors’ manual / instructions to authors from the relevant journal.

8. Front page for the article

9. Summary of the article according to the chosen journal

19. Article manuscript

20. Reference list for the article manuscript

The reference list for the article manuscript shall be written according to the journal’s author manual. All references cited in the article manuscript must appear in the reference list.

21. Attachment of the article manuscript (if any)

Verifiability and citation practice

Familiarise yourself with the current rules regarding the use of sources and citation in relation to writing papers.

It is expected that you conduct your research with integrity and handle your sources honestly. All students are obliged to follow good citation practice. This is a prerequisite for critical examination and important for enabling further research. See chapter D points 26-28 in the National ethical guidelines for research.

Published Apr. 15, 2020 12:44 PM - Last modified Sep. 15, 2020 4:06 PM